I’m going to start off with the spoiler actually and just tell you: pliers.

whether they be needle nose, snub nose, vice grips, channellocks, just get yourself something where two solid pieces of metal can squeeze together to get a good bite and rip that sucker right off!

With that thought having hopefully grossed you out entirely (if not, video of said procedure is at the end), proceed:

First off get a puny 12 lb. canine to bite your nail. Yeah, you think they’re all cute and cuddly, but if you abuse them enough they’ll be inclined to bite the hand that feeds. Rather than a whole bite, make sure you get one good tooth under the nail of your choice. I opted for my right index finger; I also preferred to remove the nail from the cuticle end – a completely unorthodox procedure!


Mild bleeding will occur immediately. Be ready first to apply pressure to stop the bleeding – the pressure won’t hurt incredibly, you’ll be too shocked by what just happened to really focus on any acute pain; besides the pressure is for your benefit. Then be ready to immerse your finger in some cold water with ice to numb the nerves. Believe me you’d rather have a cold finger than feel the throbbing.


Let that sucker really dry out and start to rot before clipping it. Don’t panic, parts of the fingernail will still be alive but we’ll slowly ensure it all dies out and gets removed. Be sure to follow the rot-line but don’t feel obliged to trim-away everything that’s dead, be sure to leave a couple millimeters like so:


There now isn’t that nice.

Now don’t forget you have an exposed fingernail so be sure to keep your skin free from bacteria and moisturized. I recommend Isopropyl Alcohol to kill any bacteria and sort of dry out the skin, then an application tea tree oil to moisturize; wrap that in a bandage and continually treat like so, trimming any cracked or split parts of the nail in the following days and weeks.

Like so:


Lookin’ good! Of course eventually the entire nail will simply rot out underneath and you’ll find yourself actually wanting to remove it! Here come the pliers:

how to remove a fingernail, the Video!

At this point you have a great opportunity to make your fingernail anew. Maybe you want to build your new fingernail to assist you with mobile computing; or maybe you need additional data storage; personally I want to figure out how to put a retractable and refillable ink pen into my nail so I always have a writing instrument at hand (pun intended!).

I’ll be working with an artist-friend of mine to design some replacement; more on that soon!